Sunday, August 31, 2008

Load up and go, already!

As you know if you're not living under a rock, there is a large and powerful storm by the name of Gustav heading for the Gulf Coast. If you are in its path, stop fucking around and load up and go already.

I'm serious. I went down for a week after Katrina and helped with cat rescue. Pics. Blog. What a clusterfuck. If you think the authorities are going to take care of your animals, you are sadly mistaken. The authorities were telling us all NOT to show up, that everything was handled. I thought, oh yeah, I believe that. So I showed up, at the evacuation center in Gonzales. Hell, they practically rolled out a red carpet for me. They were desperate for help. There were three of us taking care of over 200 cats including mothers with newborn kittens. It was in the 90s all day, thick with humidity and the cats were terrified because, of course, they were being housed in the same barns with barking dogs (I have never seen so many scarred up, angry pit bulls in my life - apparently one thing Katrina washed up was a hell of a lot of dog fighting inventory). They had nowhere for volunteers to sleep except tents and having heard a thing or two about the safety of that, I slept in my rented minivan all week. Everybody was working 20 hours a day, only sleeping for a few hours when it was actually cool enough to sleep in the middle of the night.

The "authorities" such as they were basically involved the ASPCA and the HSUS bickering about who was in charge and having a lot of meetings in their air-conditioned RV's. When I suggested that they should bring some animals who were suffering from the heat into their air-conditioned RV, the HSUS guy looked at me like I had grown a second head. Nice. And the damn thing had cages built into it! What did he think they were put there for?

My head hurts just remembering all of this.

Anyway, my point is - the government is not going to help you. The government is going to fuck it up, like they fuck everything up. So will the big animal organizations. Really, the only major org I saw doing anything useful down there was Pasado's. (And yeah, I know about the Tammy Hansen thing. I still say, they did a better job than anybody else - one mistake does not mean overall failure). If you're in the path of the storm, GRAB YOUR ANIMALS AND GO! Now! While you still can! Don't think it's gonna miss you, like there's some golden cloud protecting you. And don't wait 'til the last minute when the highways are clogged or they close the highways. GO NOW.

If you have temporary boarding to offer, please post to this thread with your e-mail address (HTML links work if you know how to format them). From the NewsStar: The Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe began accepting evacuees with livestock on Thursday. The facility's manager, Ramona Martin, said the center is set up ideally to handle horses. "They are the ones that need to be leaving (today) because of the large trailers that must be used for transport," Adcock said.

I don't want to hear from anybody later that they lost a horse in this. You won't get {{{hugs}}} here if that happens. If you don't have a trailer, post and ask for help. Get them moved now. Today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I do not care how nice it is...geld it ANYWAY!

Under normal circumstances, this Appaloosa stallion would be featured here as an example of something good to breed to. He's successful in both halter and performance. He trail rides. They can pony off of him which means he's not a rank bastard. He's probably an absolutely lovely horse to be around.

He should still be gelded. He is HYPP N/H.

They do realize this is bad. They address it by offering a negative HYPP guarantee - much like a live foal guarantee, you get a free breed back if the foal is positive. But you've still produced a positive foal. There's the problem.

"I’m Your Dreamfinder is HYPP N/H and we recommend testing the resulting foal for HYPP. If the foals is confirmed N/H or Positive for HYPP we will offer a return breeding with only mare care being charged in the case of live cover or chute fee in the case of shipped semen."

I am sure that by now this stallion has at least one stellar N/N colt on the ground. Right? So keep that as your stallion and geld this boy and enjoy riding him for the next twenty years. I am not bashing your stallion at all - except that he has a potentially fatal genetic defect. His athleticism and conformation need to continue - without the defect, through his N/N get that are already on the ground.

Do you really want to be responsible for this? Or this? Or this? I'm just asking you to think about that.

I know it seems like I harp on HYPP alot as opposed to other genetic defects but HYPP is kind of unique in that it would be so easy to eliminate it forever. All we have to do is stop breeding H/H and N/H horses. Period. Just stop breeding them. There's no other way for the disease to perpetuate itself. It doesn't skip generations and suddenly reappear. It hasn't been found to mutate out of nowhere. If 100% of our breeding was N/N to N/N, there would be no more HYPP. And there are a TON of nice N/N halter horses out there, more every day, so don't even start trying to tell me you can't buy a competitive halter horse who's negative.

P.S. And good Lord, people, how many times do I have to tell you? Impressive does not equal HYPP. There are lots of wonderful Impressive bred N/N horses that cannot suffer from or pass along HYPP. THOSE are the ones you buy, show and breed from. Like this APHA stallion, Impressive bred, HYPP N/N and absolutely lovely! (Watch the whole thing - they show him in all of his events, super nice versatile horse) Please stop running around like the paranoid mother of a kid who's got a HIV positive classmate, spewing misinformation about a disease you don't understand.

Friday, August 29, 2008

TGIF and it's time for good news!

I know you're all dying for some good news, so happy Friday - you're getting nothing but!

First of all, I want to publicize a new web site called Report Animal Cruelty. THIS IS FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT ONLY. FINALLY, a simple way to report it when you see animals in jeopardy, without having to deal with Sheriff Doofus who thinks all old horses are skinny or Deputy Dingbat who doesn't see anything wrong with horses standing up to their knees in mud ('cause it's been rainin' you know, so that's just gonna happen). Hopefully it will spread to all 50 states, but right now, this is VERMONT ONLY. I'm excited to hear how it works out! We can thank the Vermont Humane Federation and the Humane Society of the United States for making this happen.

This is Barney, the poster child for the Vermont Humane Federation. "We are filming a television PSA on why people should report animal cruelty, and Barney here is a perfect illustration. This horse is a mid-20’s Belgian/Morgan cross. All he needed was basic horse care….worming, teeth floating, and lots of groceries."

In the interests of having a happy post, I won't show the "before" picture. You all know what it looked like. HOORAY for Barney! And HOORAY for the VHF for doing a PSA and spreading their message!

Here's what I always talk about - a horse who was going nowhere but the slaughterhouse FAST when somebody intervened, rehabbed her and then placed her with someone who - gasp! - actually TRAINED her! Folks, if you are able to train OR pay for training, that is the #1 BEST thing you can do for a rescue horse today, right now. For those of you who keep saying "what can I do?" well, this is what you can do. This is what MOST needs to be done for the irresponsibly produced horses already in existence. Do it! Seriously, if you train, what's one more baby to work with? You can put 60 days on something and change the course of its entire life. Especially those of you who have assistants/working students to help ride, and you know who you are. Please consider making that contribution this winter. I'm not telling you not to make money on the deal. Just pick up a youngster from an auction that has papers and train it and make all the money you want on the resale. Go for it! Heck, come back here and brag. My personal best is we (friends and I) took one from $525 to $2500 in less than a year and then he resold for $8000 that year (in 2007). If you can beat that, I would LOVE to hear about it - c'mon, trainers, I'm challenging you!

"I purchased a registered 2 year old Clydesdale filly with Budweiser bloodlines from a woman who was going through a rough divorce. I was sent 1 photo of the filly, incredibly thin and standing in a ton of mud...Despite the fact that I could tell the filly would be a lot of work, I went ahead and purchased her anyways. I was assured that she had been handled at least a little bit recently so I was thinking I wouldn't have to worry so much about that from the beginning. That was until she bolted out of the shipper's trailer and refused to be caught for the rest of the day...She was scaled a 2 on the body scale according to the Veterinarian that I had check her out the next day, rain rot all over her body, she had scratches from the mud she was standing in all the way up to her knees and hocks, and her hooves and frog were sloughing off from the excessive moisture over such a long period of time."

The rescuer then adopted her out to a home which started her under saddle at age four. "Pretzel, now 6 years old, competed at the Yoncalla 4th of July Rodeo against over 10 QHs and Paints to have the honor of carrying the American Flag at the opening ceremonies. It's a NPRA sanctioned event, and the horses had to exhibit a reining pattern as well as make a circuit calmly around the arena with the American Flag. They won!!! I'm including a few photos of Pretzel with her wonderful trainer Kelly doing the spin in the reining pattern as well as carrying the American Flag during their victory lap."

Kelly, you rock! What a great job with Pretzel, and how exciting to triumph over the light breeds and give people a reason to look twice at full drafts for riding horses.

OK, I love this one because it stands in SHARP contrast to the ridiculous Ponytales fugly stallion story (too old to geld, my ass). Now this is doing it RIGHT with a rescued stallion!
"His name is Ophir Epona. We got him a year and a half ago from the doggers - Unbroke, unhandled 16yo stallion. We were told at the doggers that he was 8yo. As a stallion, we wouldn't be able to keep him and figured that 8 wasn't TOO old to be gelded. When his other option was a bullet, gelding seemed a good option. A few weeks after he was gelded.. We made the discovery that he was not 8, but 16. Gulp! He recovered fine however and is now enjoying his permanent home with us and is slowly learning new things."

More on the good news front - Prince Caspian, the Cowgirl Spirit horse who was a recent Friday Featured Rescue, has been adopted! He has a new home with a wonderful woman with fabulous references and I have no doubt he is her dream horse. Honestly, I rode the horse in a class last weekend (his SIXTH time under saddle) and he was so good it was unbelievable. I'm even going to put the picture up, and yes I do know my upper body position is hideous but hey, sixth ride in the show ring and I had never been on him until 2 minutes before the class, gimme a break...LOL! The important thing is that he is a beautiful, smart boy who has a new home and I knew you all wanted to hear that!

This is the REALLY cute pic though...Juliane rode him in trail after their drill performance and he figured out he could open and close the gate with his nose, so she let him. How cute is that? It makes my day that this wonderful horse didn't slip through the cracks - thanks again to Cowgirl Spirit for getting some training on him and getting him ready for a career!
Salsa, featured on this blog, has also gone to a new home so congratulations to her new owner. Now we just need to find a home for Class, a large Quarter pony pictured on the VLC blog. So if you are in the Seattle area and need a versatile large pony with no soundness issues or vices, hit up CSRDT!

Have a wonderful long weekend, everybody. If the weather holds, I'm going to try to take the VLC for his first "outing" to a new barn and a strange arena. What are your holiday weekend plans with your horses?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Movin' on!

One thing that hoarders/faux rescues/bad breeders like to do when people catch on to their shit is pack up the tent and steal away in the night to a new state where people do not know them. A classic example is the Flying AH Ranch which has relocated to Arkansas from Colorado. Why, you ask? Well, according to their web site:

"Wait! Wasn't this a horse rescue?Well, it was, but a particularly hard winter, lack of financial support and an abundance of "unwanted" horses lead to animal neglect charges and the closure of our facility.In the future we will be using this website as a place for our friends to check in on our progress as we make our new home in Arkansas."

So I went to the ever-handy to see what was up with these people. Oh what a SURPRISE! More asshats claiming to allow mustangs to live in their natural state. Well, I guess starving to death in the winter is their natural state, but most of us have a different perception when you use the "sanctuary" line and become a non-profit. We certainly don't expect to see a news article with a picture of a horse who has frozen/starved to death. Or learn that the "sanctuary" operators have been charged with cruelty and are providing asshatesque explanations for dead horses like:

"Martin never planned to overcrowd her ranch, but it just happened. She said she tried to get rid of some of the horses, but there were no takers."I didn't intentionally go, 'I need 40 horses this winter,'" she said"

Gosh golly gee, how is it that I'm not going to end up with 40 horses I can't feed this winter? Oh yeah...SAYING NO! It just happened. That's as lame as saying I didn't mean to get pregnant, it just happened. Life is full of choices, Carol - you made bad ones!

Carol also thinks horses die from the cold. Well, Carol, I don't see any blankets in those pictures. Ever heard of taking them into the barn? Oh wait, I'm guessing you didn't have barn space for 40 - which do you think meant you shouldn't have had 40?

"Martin said she spoke with Sexton on Dec. 22 and agreed to surrender some of the sicker horses, but she was floored when animal control showed up with warrants on Dec. 26. She said the horses that died during a recent cold snap were ill or old, and lacked the body conditions to handle the cold weather"
This is the foal Asshat Martin was keeping IN HER HOUSE. Yeah. There ya go. He had one ear from a dog ripping it off (unclear whether or not it was Martin's dog). Another rescue tried to save him but he died a few months later despite their efforts. Video in his memory.

Again, do you know what a rescuer is without money? A HORSE ABUSER. There is NO difference. You are not a better person because you became a horse abuser through over-rescuing. KNOW YOUR LIMIT, it's not that tough!

Anyway, Arkansans take note - you have two new horse abusers to watch out for! Carol Martin and Keith Synnestvedt. HEADS UP! Do not under ANY circumstances sell or give these people a horse! They've killed enough of them already. They are legally barred from owning horses but you know that never stops people like this. So it's up to you - spread the word and watch out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Forget building a case, let's just get a posse together

Graphic picture alert - don't follow this link if you don't want to see.

The story was posted on LiveJournal by the daughter of a wonderful rescuer who is THE ONLY reason this horse is going to survive. Here's the basic story from the LJ post:

"His name is Buck (original, no?). And he's a beautiful black and white pinto. His owners gelded him on Saturday, rode him the following Wednesday (?!) and left him tied to a fence in his pasture on Thursday morning while they all went out for drinks and BBQ across town (*rage*). That day, a large T-storm rolled through and we are assuming that this is what caused Buck to break his lead rope and flee. When the owners came back, they found Buck on their neighbors property with massive wounds on his shoulder and side. He had apparently broken through two fences and caught himself on the side of an in-ground BBQ pit and ripped it out of the ground. They sprayed some of that topical wound-heal stuff on it and left it until yesterday (3 days?!). They decided to surrender him because they "didn't have time to take care of it"."

Habitat for Horses is rehabbing him. Please make a contribution if you are able to - they do great work and I'm sure the vet bills on this one will be extensive. They are pursuing prosecution, and I'm sure they will have information up when it is appropriate about which D.A. to contact to suggest that these people be, say, soaked in kerosene and lit on fire. OK, OK, of course I recommend a more polite e-mail than that...but you know it is what I am thinking would be appropriate!

I think I want to start a campaign. It's going to be called HORSES ARE BAD. It's going to be targeted at all the redneck, knuckle-dragging idiots in the world and their teenage kids and will be an educational campaign to teach such concepts as:

1. Horses are "out." Quads are much cooler and you want one of them instead!

2. Horses carry disease. Yup. You kin get AIDS from them thar horses. It's in their spit and if they bite you, y'all will get it. So you don't want none of them critters around!

3. Horses are for girls. Real men ride motorcycles! And they don't wear none of those sissy helmets neither. ('Cause if some of y'all smack your head on the concrete and take yourselves out of the gene pool, that'll be just fine by me!)

4. Horses are real spendy and will cut into your beer budget. (Complete with spreadsheets showing pictorial depictions of the number of cases of beer lost per year per horse!)

Do you think it might work?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rescues breeding? OK. Rescues breeding badly? NOT OK!

I've said before that I don't mind hearing that someone both rescues and breeds (assuming obviously that they keep the two things financially separate). It's par for the course in dog and cat breed rescue, where most rescue is done by breeders who actually care where the animals wind up! And heck, if they rescue a superstar mare with papers, I have no issue whatsoever with them putting her into their program once rehabbed. HOWEVER, when a rescue contributes to the problem by breeding absolute crap with bad dispositions, I have to speak up.

This is the case with Ponytales Rescue, which for some unfathomable reason thought this aggressive stallion that they acquired because it killed another horse should be bred. In her own words from a post on Alex Brown Racing:

"Before I got him he killed a gelding that someone turned out with him not knowing , this is what landed him on a feedlot in Maine awaiting shipment to slaughter. He has attacked several geldings that people brought within striking distance depsite being fore warned."

Alright, let's see what we have here. Bad disposition. Homely and unrefined. And apparently his greatest accomplishment is being ridden in his stall by a small child. Which is really super smart considering that he attacks horses that get "within striking distance." Yup, that's what I'd put a child on. And the riding in the stall thing is SUCH a good idea. Broken leg, anybody?

No responsible breeder would breed this rank, nasty stallion and make more of him - why is a rescuer doing it? Hell, why is she breeding anything when her main source of income seems to be the Alex Brown board? Beg, beg, beg - but make another mouth to feed? What is that about?

Oh and here's the beauty queen she bred him to. Long as a train, straight shoulder, just as common as he is. Blech. Can't wait to see that foal. $10 says donations from the Alex Brown Board, aka the Suckers R US! board, go to pay for foaling expenses!
(I LOVE you people who donate to rescues, truly I do, but PLEASE make wiser choices. If I have to hear about one more Fair Dinkum debacle, I am gonna throw up. Give to LOCAL rescues that YOU can visit and check out. That is all I ask!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

This is why I hate the round pen

Before the round pen became commonplace, people who decided to "just get on" a horse without putting any formal training into it were often taken out via natural selection. Now, they have this fluffy sand-covered enclosure where they can bounce off their scared young horse, laugh idiotically, and get up and try it again.


The underweight Clydesdale photographer e-mailed me. She got the standard response - I don't edit posts, and you may sue me if you so choose. Apparently she missed the whole point that I wasn't accusing the horse of being uphill. I rather like uphill horses. I simply said he was fugly as sin, and underweight, and should be a gelding - opinions I absolutely stand by!


As the copyright holder of that picture you put up on your “FUGLY” site, I’m asking that you remove it immediately. You do not have any permission to steal the picture. I know this for a fact as I took the picture myself, and you may tell your “posters” that the picture WAS taken in the pasture as well as Westin was going up hill. The farm my aunt has is extremely hilly, so yes they do sometimes look like they are “uphill” it is only because they are literally standing UP HILL OR DOWN HILL… and if her horses were so bad then how is she selling them to bigger named trainers around the country for jumping, dressage, and 3 day eventing?

There are also some things that were said that are very untrue about my aunt’s horses. One in particular was someone claimed to be on the same board as the owner…. Not true, I’m on the board, NOT the owner, and she does NOT “know” this stallion, I had found her ad looking to trade a mare, and mentioned it to my aunt, then when my aunt learned more about the mare and her ‘lameness’ my aunt said NO, this person didn’t tell her no.

This is a warning to you, that you must remove the picture of Westin and comments about the horses and mules of Brookhill Farm. Being that it is your blog you are responsible for the content and what you have done is slander, theft, and copyright infringement.

Amanda Wilson"

This was sent to me and it DEFINITELY deserves a mention:

"With all of the bad raps that run rampant across the net I wanted to at least mention that since day one The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse has always had a policy of "No questions asked, can't keep your horse? Send it to us". This year alone they have already place 4 horses. When the driving force behind The Foundation was at the helm of the International Andalusian Horse Association, it implemented microchipping for all stock and was also working to get livestock yards to scan all horses so they could keep Andalusians out of the auction yards. If they needed a scanner it would be donated. How many breed assoc or groups will take the unwanted purebreds amongst their membership? I don't think there are too many with formal programs."

I agree. All of the breed registries, ALL of them, DO need to step up and do their part. Is your breed association even donating to rescues?

All right, back to work - I am trying to catch up on e-mails, I really am! Hope everybody had a great weekend. If I met you at the SAFE Show, thanks for coming out and supporting SAFE. I have already forgotten your blog name, 'cause I'm braindead like that, but one of you brought your wonderful 19 year old tobiano who was in beautiful condition and an EXEMPLARY example of how an older horse should look and perform. What a sweetheart!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Let's talk about sensible stallions!

In my travels through cyberspace, I came across this Arabian stallion and I thought, wow, now THAT'S what should be reproducing!

His name is WL Intruder. Among his wins are 2003 Youth National Champion Hunter over Fences. Yes,
youth. He has also won jumping competitions bareback and bridleless. He's got a brain and he sure as heck doesn't "jump like an Arab." He jumps like a damn good jumper.

I thought about this today because I was at a show that didn't allow stallions. I was thinking about how the people who insist upon bringing out their rank pieces of crap ruin it for everybody else. This stallion knows how to behave himself in mixed company. So do many others.

Many years ago, when I decided to breed my mare, one of the main reasons I chose the stallion I did - an AQHA stallion and Superior Halter Horse called Barlink Frosty Boy - was that you could just grab him out of the stall and go ride him. He didn't care if there were mares in the arena. He didn't whinny and scream and drag you down the aisle. You never had to worry about what he was going to do. I also used to know an APHA stallion whose registered name was Okie Jewpauls Hope that you could shove into a two horse trailer with a mare and go trail riding. No issues. Never. He had a crappy lowlife BYB owner at the time but I know he got upgraded and went to California and got shown successfully over fences. I think both of those boys are dead and gone by now but they were classic examples to me of how a good stallion should behave.

So tell me- in your breed of choice, who would you point to as a stallion who won/is winning at the shows and knows how to behave himself? I'm looking for horses who have that winning combination of talent and a disposition where people who stood next to him at a show say "I never knew that was a stallion!" I don't want to hear about the neighbor's stud that his kids ride double bareback, but has never been to a horseshow.

And hey, if you want to use this opportunity to mention a few rank SOB's that should get cut, feel free!
I have been at horseshows where the Gelding Bus SHOULD have been there and the judge SHOULD have had the authority to send a stallion to it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Forget the bitchslap tour...

I think what we REALLY need to concentrate on is a mobile gelding bus! I mean, I can come up with 500 much-needed stops without hardly trying.

First Stop: Paris, Ohio!

"10 y/o Painted Quarter Horse stallion. Stands 15.5 He will come up to you,he walks and leads. He throws loud colored foals. Last few years he has just been running with mares. Has not been under saddle for a few years. This horse will need retrained. MUST be an experienced rider. Asking $500.00 FIRM. Located in Paris , Ohio ... Call for further questions... 330-265-3381."

Second stop: Heading north to Holmen, Wisconsin! OK, how ungodly fugly is this Clydesdale stallion? Heck, there's not a single gelding at that draft rescue I just showed you that isn't 10x the quality of this critter.

I LOVE their page of justifications for not doing jack shit with the horses (you know, like, um, GROOMING THEM) "
I don't have 'show' pictures up as that is not what our horses do. Not that they aren't capable, they are very much so. But we are selling you a horse. If you love the horses in the natural you will really love them cleaned up. We don't want to sell you glitz and glamour, we want to sell you a horse. "

All right, we're heading west to Utah to ask the question: Did ya steal that front end from Donald Duck? This is a Missouri Foxtrotter stud. All I can say is that it needs to be a Missouri Foxtrotter gelding. NOW.

These folks brag that they have over 100 horses. Yup, a hundred horses and no eye. That's how it usually goes!

I also LOVE that they have a broodmare whose barn name is "Snarly." Yup. That's one you wanna make some more of!

And - par for the course - you can see how wonderful their horses are based upon the rider lying all over them like lawn furniture while they're loose in the field.

Just remember, as you carefully evaluate your breeding stock for conformation and doesn't really matter! Color is everything!

Yes, I think we need to make the Gelding Bus a top priority! Any vets want to volunteer to do the snipping?

For the Seattle Area Locals: Don't forget, the SAFE benefit horse show is tomorrow! You don't need to pre-enter, you can just show up at Bridle Trails and show. And if you don't have a horse to show, you can come and watch the fun, including special Rescue Horse classes and an exhibition by Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team at lunch.

Cowgirl Spirit will be showcasing three of its adoptable horses: Class, Salsa, and Prince Caspian. "Caspian" has only been under saddle for a few weeks and is already proving himself to be a superstar. He is a Varian bred Arabian and would love a new home for fall, so come by and check him out if you're in the area!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Will anything stop Dean the Horse Hoarder?

Check out the latest

I had been told about this but I wanted to confirm...well, I guess we have confirmation. Dean "Photoshopped Ass" Solomon is still killing horses. What a surprise, NOT.

Hey, any Dean supporters want to come on here and explain yourselves? The floor's yours! Go for it. I am DYING to hear how some of you justify still supporting her, and giving her money. E-N-A-B-L-I-N-G, look it up!

Trial's next month. Not that it will stop her...unless they actually have some balls and lock her up.

Previous blogs on Dean:

Dean and $am fighting all over the Internet - gotta say, that was a good time! Shame they finally shut up...

Dean finally charged with criminal neglect

Report from Dean's arraignment

And you people at Emerald Downs, for god's sake STOP GIVING HER AND HER MINIONS HORSES! I know it's an easy way out but a little investigation wouldn't kill you.

The good, the bad, and the fugly!

How cool is this? Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue did an expo at the Montgomery County Fair last weekend. Now this is what I like to see in a rescue. These horses are fat, shiny, and BROKE! People are actually riding them. As I've noted before, warehousing horses does not get them adopted. Training is paramount - most people want to adopt a horse that already rides. Gentle Giants is in Maryland for those of you who might like to check out these beautiful available horses!

Horsetopia continues to make my brain bleed.

And I know we see this every day but I'm still sick of it. While I have no doubt that Frosty is a "good one," can't you make that point without risking your child's neck? He's 24 freaking years old, I think I'm gonna believe you if you tell me he's safe without the theatrical asshattery.

I just do not understand risking your child's safety to sell horses. If ol' Frosty were packing her around a ring and she had a helmet on, I'd have no problem with these pictures. Why must she be crawling all over the horse and doing acrobatics on him with a bare head? It doesn't show that he's fabulously broke. It just shows that you're a careless parent.

Sorry, I should have put an "eye bleach" warning on this one. This hideous monstrosity is a grade TB/Appy/draft mare offered for sale for $275 by Smilin Cow Ranch in Oregon. Long backed, short ewe neck, back at the knees, toes out, and I do believe her fugly head is longer than her neck!

OF-FUCKING-COURSE, she's BRED! Because why wouldn't you breed your fugly mixed breed unbroke mare that you are gonna dump before winter? Along with all of your other extra dude string horses and things you don't want to mess with?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

She mite have a critter or two!

I love Horsetopia. Truly I do.

First we have this filly that these folks picked up at the "sell barn" for $70.
After someone observes that she looks like she might be bred (she's a two year old so, yes, it's possible), their response is not to, you know, call the vet and find out or anything. This is their response in its unedited entirety:

"We dont think is is prego so she mite have a critter or 2 but we have her out for just a bit longer & then bringer her back in to pour more feed to her & get her checked-out then she will be turned out again & As for her name my husband just calls her blue cause we have a pally & his name is yellow horse 7 then we a dun colt we are breaking & his name is dunny so they kinda get there name from there color & i think they need to have real name beside there reg. names"

They have another thread going about whether or not their baby palomino is show quality (if you have to ask, you shouldn't be breeding!). After several posters observe that it has a hernia that should be cared for, they respond (again, unedited) "I could be a herina but we havent even had her outta the pasture since she was born but we are bringin her in in a few days!!!"

Of course, they have, and again I quote "There are 24 mares 5 geldings 6 yearlings & 11 babies & 3 studs!!!"

See, I just don't know how there will ever be enough responsible people to clean up the unholy mess that is continually created by people like this, who live in their own world where, lalala it is just fine to let horses breed willy-nilly like bunnies in the backyard. The palomino filly IS cute (though not a halter filly) but the rest of what they've produced is a study in mediocrity.

You know, it's just like dogs and cats. I used to live in L.A. and if you mentioned casually at a cocktail party there that your dog wasn't neutered, at least one person would have thrown a drink on you. Then I moved to Oregon and almost immediately, a teenager bragged in front of me that they'd just had a litter of Shar Pei/Rott/Pit mix puppies and everybody in Oregon was like OMG that's so KYOOT (admittedly this was in Gresham, meth-cooking loser capital of the PNW). I was aghasted.

It seems fairly easy to educate the city folk about things like responsible breeding, but how do you get through to people whose families have been churning out horses like popcorn for the past 100 years that it's just not okay to do that anymore? I keep thinking the only thing that is going to teach them is not being able to sell and not being able to feed, but the horses suffer so much in that process. I'm curious, are any of the organizations like FFA and 4-H in your area actually addressing the changed market with the kids and talking about how reckless breeding is not such a great idea? Or are they still encouraging kids to breed, breed, breed?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Save the Whales!

(Click to enlarge)

I don't know what's bugging me the most about this...the free fillies (don't act like you're the one providing some kind of generous gift to the world, we all know from your ad you want to ditch them before you have to hay them this fall), the "potencial" herd sire or the fact that some poor member of the family has apparently been exported to Whales.

Sure hope he can swim!

I stumbled upon a happy ending last night!

I was googling trying to find the phone number for Dr. Sara Perkins, the vet, in Rainier when I found this blog.

I immediately wondered if that was the horse I had posted about here on the blog. A few e-mails and I found out I was right!

Remember the
large free horse Craigslist post that we were all livid about? The draft stallion that you could have if you could catch? Well, today we can all give kudos to a wonderful lady named Pat Wagner, because she stepped up and took him in after he was acquired at that point by someone who did not have the right set-up for a big, spoiled draft stallion.

(Which does beg the question: Good grief, what
is the right set-up for a big, spoiled draft stallion? Yeesh. My roomies were kind of wanting to save him and I just thought, uh-uh. I could just see him merrily running around the Microsoft campus, trailing streamers of coated wire fencing behind him...)

Unsurprisingly, Spencer came to her with lots of neglect related problem. Witness Spencer's hoof. LOVELY. Jesus H. Christ people, don't HAVE drafts if you're not going to take care of the feet.

Thanks to Pat, Spencer now knows what the vet looks like (bet that was a new experience!), is now a gelding, and is learning to socialize with other horses. His feet are improving. Hooray!

And who, pray tell, was the genius who let Spencer get into this condition, who completely failed to train and socialize a 1900 lb. stallion, who then dumped him to the first taker on Craigslist? Was it some meth-cooking Pierce County bottom-feeder with a mullet, a trailer, and a barbed wire fence?

Nope. It was a DAMN DOCTOR. WTF. He came from Malia Arabians & Warmbloods in Eatonville, Washington, which is owned by Dr. John and Tina Diller. The Dillers are breeding all kinds of silly shit. Of course they are breeding "American Warmbloods," AKA Grade Horses We Gave A Fancy Name To In The Hopes Of Improving Their Value. The Dillers aren't hurting for cash. Their lovely web site is full of professional pictures of their horses. Their facility appears to be clean and well maintained. They have a trainer or some sort of exercise rider - their sale horses are well presented and high priced. The cheapest one is $7500.

The Dillers had NO EXCUSE. NO EXCUSE AT ALL for what they did. They have the money to have had Spencer gelded and trained so that he could have a future if he had not worked out for their breeding program. But they didn't want to do that. They wanted to throw their problem out into the world and make someone else fix it.

Pat is fixing it. But WHY THE FUCK should she have to? You people are disgusting. You ought to be sending Pat the next $7500 you make selling one of your horses for the rehab and training on the one you threw out the door somehow thinking, in this era of the Internet, that this irresponsible act would not be traced back to you. Bzzzzzt, you lose.

You're bragging on your web site about the fact that you've been breeding since 1965. In 43 years, you haven't learned how to breed horses responsibly? Sad. Sad. Sad.

I sound like a broken record because I just keep seeing the same scenarios. I am so damn sick of breeders dumping their "culls" and failed experiments without a thought as to the animal's wellbeing. If that is how you want to operate, GET OUT OF THE LIVE ANIMAL BUSINESS! Manufacture something that doesn't feel pain or hunger or confusion or fear! Then when you F up, you can dump it and no one will care.

Spencer is very lucky that he's safe but it's no thanks to you, Dr. John and Tina Diller of Eatonville. Again, an innocent person who didn't create the expensive and hard-to-handle mess is cleaning it up. There aren't enough of us to clean up after you irresponsible folks, and we don't have enough money. JUST STOP BREEDING.

Updated to add a note from Pat, his owner, about how she came to acquire him:

Thanks Guys! I'm blushing. But Spencer sort of found me. A customer happened upon the CL about needing a farrier for a draft. I was on my way home from a full day of trimming hooves and picked up my Blackberry and see this email about a farrier needed. Clicked on the number and arranged to drive right past my home to the home of the gal who spend 3 hours trying to catch him before she finally did. And she has a baby about 4 months before that. Determined Gal! It wasn't long before her family suggest she find a new home for him and she called me. I had actually expressed an interest in him because of his awful hooves.
The picture of his hoof is one I took right after I arrived. She had just taken a soaking boot off his hoof (all his hooves were/are filled with abscesses - not just one, but many) so she was trying to do the right thing.
So his hooves are bad, but that picture makes it look actually worse than it is. That's matted hair at the top of the hoof. Not hoof. Still, when I got him home the abscess rupture site was bleeding from all the activity. Keep up with his progress at

Monday, August 18, 2008

Best places in the U.S. to live with horses?

This came up in the comments and I thought we should discuss it! The real estate market is, as most of you know, in the toilet. The next year is going to be a great time to buy a horse property if you've got the funds and credit to do it.

Now, the question is, where? Most of us want good enough pasture that the ponies can live off the land at least in the summertime and reduce those terrible hay bills. Where can someone find a horse farm with great pasture at a reasonable price and commuting distance from a big city with jobs (assuming most of us are not independently wealthy and need to work to pay for all of this)?

I once bought 5 acres with a two story, 1100 sq. foot house for $69,000. I had killer pasture. It was old alfalfa field, not seeded in many years but still rich enough that those 5 acres kept five Thoroughbreds fat and show-ring-shiny all summer. I had a flat piece of land next to the house where I made a faux arena (you know, the one that you make with step-in posts and hot tape, to kinda sorta convince the horse he is in a ring) and it worked out great. The flaw was that it was located outside Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is a place I quickly determined I did not want to live. (Got dragged up there by ex-husband, LOL) Green Bay is miserably hot all summer and miserably cold and icy all winter. It has two good months: April and October.

While I don't miss the climate or the city in general, I definitely miss having a horse farm with a $600 a month payment! Currently I just rent, and of course I pay more than that. Where are today's bargains? Where do you live? Do you like it? Are you planning a move to get a better horse property? If you're in real estate, give us your two cents - where are the best values and where do you think they are going to be?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Holy chit, you people scare me!


Date: 2008-06-01, 4:19PM

I will put on VERY INTENSE hours on your horse not just before you pick up your horse like other TRAINERS do !! I will take you on a trail ride after 30 days then you let me known if you want more training but i doubt it you will BUT THIS IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE HORSE ACAMEDY no pampering (but well fed grain and hay) I PERSONALLY RIDE THE CHIT OUT OF THEM. RODE VERY HARD!!!!!!!!!1 AND PUT AWAY WET !! SO THEY SAY I'M NOT A SO TO SAY TREAT THEM LIKE A PUPPY !! THEY ARE HORSES, AND I'M NOT A OLD FANSION COWBOY!! BUT I WILL TAKE ON AND RIDE THE CHIT OUT OF THEM AND MAKE THEM OBEY LIKE THEY SHOULD AND BE A GREAT TRAIL COMPANION TOMMY 612-964-4111

Location: ramsey

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Original URL:


So I went to the web site and apparently this dude's name is Tommy Guyer, and he will teach your horse to jump into the bed of your pickup. Awesome. My only REAL question after viewing the web site is what the other trainer, Lynn Swanson, is doing sharing space with this neanderthal. She appears to be normal and competent. Honey, I don't care how good of a deal you're getting, it's not good enough! Ever heard of guilt by association? I'd hate to see you get confused with Tommy who rides the chit out of them.

Of course, Tommy is standing a fugly paint stallion too, described only as "Chex." Because bloodlines don't matter (nor apparently does any sort of decent looking hip or legs or neck or shoulder) - "we breed for brains."

Good thing you're trying to put some on the horses - perhaps it will help balance out the human deficit thereof.

Thor doesn't need $10,000. Thor needs better owners!

I received this in my e-mail and it just rubbed me all sorts of the wrong way, so of course I have to share.



We are sending this URGENT message to our friends to let you know that THOR (The World's Tallest Living Horse) is critically ill and has been taken to Texas A & M University Large Animal Clinic in College Station, Texas. Suffering pain, anemia, severe weight loss and other symptoms, Thor was seen by our regular team of local vets who all agreed that he needed to be sent to A & M at once. Texas A & M is one of the top veterinary teaching hospitals in the world and has the state of the art facilities and top vets needed to diagnose and treat animals of Thor’s size. Upon his arrival there, it was discovered that his symptoms were being caused by about 200 pounds of hardened sand trapped in one area of his lower intestine that has to come out or he will not survive. It is normal for horses to ingest and pass sand because they are herbivores, eat naturally off the ground and always ingest some earth along with the grass they consume. The great amount of sand inside of Thor, however, has> mysteriously accumulated over an undetermined period of time and not revealed itself up to now because of his super-sized anatomy. Horses of normal proportion could not survive this much intestinal blockage, commonly called “sand colic”. Their ability to digest food would cease, they would go into shock and die. The doctors at A & M feel that Thor is near this point, and have been feverishly trying to remove the sand medically (with massive quantities of psyllium) for the past week. There has been no noticeable improvement, but they want to continue this method for another seven days to> give it every possible chance to work. There is a very slim hope that this will treatment will have some effect, but should it not, then Thor will need to have immediate surgery to save his life. If we give the go-ahead to operate and all goes well, then his prognosis for recovery is excellent.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT A & M SURGEONS MAY NOT PERFORM THIS LIFE-SAVING OPERATION ON THOR. WHY? First, because Thor’s regular medical insurance will not cover this surgery and recuperative treatment he will need. We must, therefore, absorb the cost of Thor's treatment at Texas A & M on our own without insurance and have no way to cover it alone. We have already paid $5,000 in diagnostic testing, and have been advised to expect at least an additional $10,000 veterinary bill from the University to cover his surgery and recovery time. This includes the discount normally extended to us by the University. Unlike a human hospital, A & M will not perform the life-saving operation if they do not have a guarantee of immediate payment in full. Secondly, A & M does not have a payment plan. They require half of the surgery cost up front before they will operate and the other half after the procedure. We must raise the funds for this operation now or the doctors will not perform the surgery and Thor will not live. In fact, if they cannot operate, then they will want to euthanize him for humanitarian reasons. One might ask why don’t we don’t move him to another facility that has a payment plan. The reason is because most animal hospitals don’t have one, and A & M is the only facility in this part of the world that can conduct this type of operation on a horse this size and be able to deal with any emergency that may arise during surgery.
WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT As you know, Thor is a very special horse who is known and loved by many people. If just 100 of his friends would pull together and give $100 each toward his A & M veterinary care within a week, then we can give payment assurance to the University, approve the surgery, and give him the best possible chance to recover. Can you join this emergency effort? Do you know others who would? If so, then please let them know quickly and put them in touch with us. We will need to render a decision by this time next week. Anything will help. Your tax deductible donations can be provided as follows:
1. By credit card (fastest). You may make a designated, secure credit card donation for Thor through PAYPAL. Simply go to our website, select the Donations For Thor tab, click on the “Help Thor/Donate” button on the right side of this page and you will be directed to PAYPAL to be led through a quick,safe and easy process
2. By check. Send a check made out to The Knights of The Guild, and include a note that indicates "Help Thor". Mail to Knights of The Guild, P.O. Box 1190, Spring Branch, TX 78070. If you opt for this method, then please email us at to let us know that your help is on the way. We have worked with horses for a long time, and are not alarmists. This is truly a life or death situation with a deadline and we can only ask once. We sincerely appreciate anything you can do to help Thor at your earliest possible convenience. If you cannot give financially, then please offer a prayer for him. We will keep you regularly posted on this situation through our web page.

Okay, who reading this, who has horses in Texas, does not know that you give them psyllium one week a month to prevent this from happening in the first place? You know, a $35 tub of Sand Clear. If you fail to do this, well, hell YES your horses will have sand colic. If you live in a sandy climate, psyllium is not negotiable. This is not something you do only AFTER the horse has his gut stuffed up tighter than the Holland Tunnel during rush hour!
And WTF, this is a non-profit thing why? How? This is not a rescue horse. Why are we supporting this horse? From everything I can find, this is a personally owned horse that this so-called "nonprofit" owns and uses to promote themselves at various events. Why is his vet bill the world's problem?

Sorry, I have NO sympathy here except for the poor horse who is suffering. Why should the world cough up $10,000 because you folks who OWN Thor failed to buy a $35 tub of psyllium and prevent this preventable condition? I had horses in Los Angeles and I know a lot of folks with horses in California, Arizona and Texas. The ones who feed psyllium don't have sand colics - period. It's preventable. I don't care how many people allegedly love this horse, he has owners. They need to find the money if they want to pay this vet bill that they created. Some suggestions: Home equity loan, sell a car, sell jewelry, sell furniture. Bet you folks have $10,000 worth of crap in your home - most people do. And yet here y'all are, begging begging begging. I'm so sick of all the Internet panhandling. This isn't even a rescue horse!
And this e-mail paints Texas A&M as the bad guys. Um, most people want to get paid. They aren't asshats for wanting you to pay your fucking vet bill and not for "trusting" you and not wanting 50% up front. They are realists who have mortgages too. They can't clean up your expensive mess either.
*sigh* And 4,000 has already been donated. Do you know how many sweet, kind slaughter-bound horses I could rescue and rehab for $4,000? Horses who don't have anything wrong with them? Sheesh people. Stop throwing your money at these ridiculous situations. These people are no worse than welfare witches - they're just milking a different system, kind hearted, gullible people on the Internet.
P.S. I don't want to hear one word about my use of the WW term. You all know to whom it refers - it's not ABOUT people who wind up on assistance short term due to health or a death. It's about people who milk the system for life and if that's you, yeah, you deserve the term.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Non horsey products for horses?

Happy Friday!

Today, let's discuss ways that we've found to use non-horsey products around the barn to save money and keep the horses happy and healthy. I was thinking about something along these lines after finding out about this great tip from a friend. My friend took a foam water "noodle" that cost her a whopping $2 and split it down the middle. When she is ready to load or unload a horse, she just puts it up on the top inside edge of the horse trailer and - voila - head protection! If a horse pops their head upon loading or unloading, the noodle cushions them from an injury. How smart is that? And it cost TWO DOLLARS!!!

I know she's not the only one with great ideas like this. I mean, I think we all know that a great cure for rainrot and assorted other skin conditions is a mix of dollar store baby shampoo and iodine, that muck buckets are $4 - $7 at Wal-Mart which is way cheaper than you can buy them for in the feed store, and that you can make a handy-dandy bit warmer for your cold climate tackroom by installing a tin can with the ends taken off around a light bulb. But how about some more obscure uses of products not originally designed for horses? What have you found at the dollar store that you're using around the barn? We all know we can't get cheap hay, so we've got to save money wherever we can. What have you come up with?

Today's Friday Featured Rescue caught my eye immediately. His name is Denali and he's a ranch bred Quarter Horse available for adoption at Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue in Valley Center, California. While he needs an experienced rider, I'd say this guy is well worth the effort of a bit more training. They feel he has received some rough handling and needs someone kind and consistent to regain his trust. His adoption fee is a reasonable $500 and he is only approximately 6 years old so he would be a great project for a good rider who wants a super flashy horse to chase some cows on. They have many others available, including some that come with papers and have show potential. Check them out if you're in Southern California!

P.S. FHOTD now has staff. Yes, it's true. I've realized I will never catch up on e-mail without help and have recruited a few snarky and knowledgeable friends to help out with e-mails. That means you'll be receiving responses far more promptly than in the past and hopefully I can get to the more urgent stories more efficiently. I appreciate your patience - as most of you know, I've been doing the two jobs thing to support the herd on top of several training horses, and it's just been impossible to keep up. Please know that I appreciate all of the e-mails and am never ignoring you deliberately - it's just been an expensive year (as everybody else out there buying hay knows!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Green Acres ain't the life for me!

Many of us here on the blog remember that old TV series where the businessman decides he wants to be a farmer and drags his wife, Eva Gabor, the human equivalent of a miniature poodle, off to live on a ramshackle farm. Of course she does her best to citify things out there and it's all very funny.

It's not so funny in real life when city folks move to the country. They have a raft of reasons why they want to do that. It's cleaner! It's healthier! They want to keep the kids away from drugs and gangs. They want some land and room to roam. What they don't want, invariably, are all of the things that have been in the country since time immemorial...namely, livestock and the aromas that go with them. It never occurred to them, you see, that those picturesque cows grazing in the green field smell like, um, cow shit. So they start bitching. And putting in new zoning and new regulations. And arguing that somehow it's a health hazard, all of this livestock, and it's contaminating the water supply, and blah blah blah, until they have turned the country into a (gag) suburb and run off all of the people who had been enjoying it for the past 50 years.

That's what we've got going on in the little town of Hickman, Nebraska. Here's a clue. When you move to a place called Hickman, it's going to be a little different than living in someplace called, let's say, Fairlawn. You are going to have all kinds of things there you may not care for, like trailer parks and dive bars and livestock. If you don't like that, live somewhere else. But, no, in the past 20 years the lemminglike march of the suburbanites have led them to Hickman and now they want to get rid of Peter Rabbit.

Peter is not a rabbit. He is a 32 year old Morgan/QH cross who was born in the field he lives in and has had the same owner all of his life. He looks wonderful and is a damn lucky horse. His owner is 76 years old, a guy named Harley Scott, who clearly knows how to take care of an old horse and has a lovely place for him to reside. Observe the picture at left. This is hardly some old broken down horse living behind two strands of barbed wire behind someone's trailer home. He has a great place to live (four acres), he's shiny and happy and is receiving proper care. He's totally picturesque.

The shallow, soulless asshats on the Hickman City Council have decided old Peter has to go. They don't want a horse living in the city so they've decided to harrass a 76 year old man and his 32 year old horse. Yeah. You guys are awesome. News story. In short: "With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit's pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban. Shortly after a council meeting Tuesday, the horse's owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land. Scott said he has no intention of complying with the Sept. 15 deadline. He faces the prospect of being fined up to $100 a day if he's convicted of violating the ordinance."

Oh my God! Don't you asshats have anything more pressing to deal with in Hickman, Nebraska than to try to make it financially impossible for an old retired man to keep his lifetime pet? What the fuck were you all thinking? One horse on four acres couldn't possible constitute any kind of sanitation hazard. I doubt he's breaking through the fences at night and running wild in the streets at age 32.

They KNOW they are asshats, too! They disabled the contact form on their web site! But hey, you can still call them and write them and we found an e-mail for the city manager, too. Now remember, you get a lot further being polite but you can still politely tell them that their order to get rid of the horse is inhumane to both the horse and the human. In my opinion, it constitutes elder abuse and I hope a smart elder abuse attorney will jump on this!

City Office & City Council: 115 Locust P.O. Box 127 Hickman, Nebraska 68372

(402) 792-2212

Email -

Let's talk about this in general, too. Do you have city folk encroaching on the areas where your horses live? Have you had problems with them? What do you think we need to do in order to keep from losing places we can keep our horses to new regulations caused by newcomers who like the look of the country but not its smell? Have you been able to take certain steps to stay on good terms with even the fussiest new neighbors and keep the horses welcome? Have you actually had to go to court or fight with the city to maintain your right to keep livestock on your land? Please mention where you are when you post - I think it's an interesting topic to see what parts of the country are suffering from this kind of problem the most.

And just since we were talking about old not equalling skinny yesterday, I snapped a pic of my 35 year old toothless wonder, Clover. She isn't really eating that hay but she does like to play with it! She gets hay pellet mush twice a day with Clovite and corn oil. When I got her, she looked like this - that was January 2007 when I got her free off of Craigslist and this is how she has maintained ever since I got her back up to weight.